Launched in 1985 as Children’s BBC, CBBC is a TV channel from the BBC aimed at children ages 6 to 12. CBBC started and also runs as a programming block currently on CBeebies but in the past on BBC One and Two. CBBC’s programming offers a range of original comedy, entertainment, drama, animation, news, and factual series with the large majority produced in the UK and its content is now consumed in large part online through their website and mobile platforms. The programming is all tied through and presented via a studio by hosts (and puppets) who present each show and provide segues. Last week, CBBC introduced a new logo and on-air package designed by London-based Red Bee.
Our job is to keep one step ahead of this agile age group - celebrating their immersion in all things digital whilst maintaining all the CBBC qualities that we know our viewers love. We’ve worked hard to ensure that our content does just that - reflects our audience on all our platforms and is ready for action when and how they want it. Our old logo just wasn’t devised to perform in a variety of digital spaces which means that it doesn’t work in the way that we want it to today.
We are now the proud owners of a versatile and dynamic logo which works in every space and is designed to appeal to both ends of our broad age spectrum. Whether on large-screen TVs or hand-held devices our new brand identity is bright, mischievous and sophisticated - just like the CBBC audience who helped us to choose it and have told us they love it!
Our new logo is not overt, it doesn’t scream ‘Children’s TV’ but its various iterations are fun and unpredictable and have broad appeal.
This redesign has received a surprisingly large amount of negative reaction on social media. Not that negative reaction on social media is a matter of surprise these days but that a relatively small channel with minor repercussions (if any) in the day to day life of grown-ups — because 6 to 12 years are not yet criticizing logos on social media — would cause such a stir. I can’t imagine what the reaction would be to the old logo if it were introduced today. I happen to like the old one but the jumbly typography with its purposely weird and varied letterforms would easily be called “confusing” or “on acid”, only two ways in which the new logo has been described.
I like the new logo. A lot. It’s harder to read than the previous one sure, but it’s just as easy to recognize by a 6 to 12 year old when their favorite show comes on. They won’t mistakenly “skip” it in the grocery store aisle. The CBBC letters, made from simple geometric shapes, make up a larger “C” — a monogram the CBBC has used in the past — that, to me, also looks like a fish and, for whatever reason, I do associate kids with fish (we’ve at least
killed had four in our household). But fish is definitely not what they were going for, so let’s digress. My favorite aspect of the logo are the “B”s that avoid repetition by being in different states of “scrolling” within the larger “C” shape and then the “C” could even be seen as the top and bottom of the same “B” shapes caught in between scrolling. The logo is simple, bold, and colorful.
The “Office”, as they call it, is also a great improvement. It looks much more fun than the previous one.
In the idents the logo can take on different interpretations — just as most logos on TV these days — and some are more successful than others because, yeah, I’ll admit the logo is not the most readable, so maybe when the logo is made out of slinkies coming down treadmills (0:58 mark in the idents video) it might not be as recognizable. But, in general, it works and when the logo is animated with flat colors and shapes it has a great energy and execution. The on-air system gets a little bit dry with the bland sans serif typography and vertical layouts but the use of patterns helps liven it up. I like how they use the curved notch in the counterspace of the “B”s to use as a visual arrow to highlight information. Overall, this is very appropriate and, as the quoted text says, this isn’t overtly children-ish; instead it offers a slight bit of visual maturity for the young ones. Not sure what’s to hate so much.